Portland’s Ruphus Innovates and Inspires with Goods from Wood

In a world filled with plastic, carbon fiber, and metallic consumer goods, it’s refreshing to see companies that are returning to the warmth and beauty of natural materials, such as wood, for their products. Wood adds character and style and an organic appeal to just about everything, and is not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing as well, and can serve as a stylish counterpoint to modern home and office accoutrements. One company that stands out as an example of those…

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Eco-Friendly Shoes: Felted Wool Valenki Footwear Could be Warmest Shoes Ever

The reinvention of a traditional peasant shoe by a young Swiss company could deliver the most eco-friendly, and the warmest, shoes ever. Based on the traditional Russian felted sheep’s wool footwear, or valenki, the new line of footwear from Baabuk offers warm and functional shoes and slippers made from the simplest of materials – 100% wool for the body of the shoe, and recycled tires for the soles. It’s tough to find truly eco-friendly shoes that are not only built…

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These women’s underwear are on a mission

We’re probably fairly aware of at least some of the issues that people in the developing world face, including limited (or no) access to clean water, as well as lack of sanitary facilities for going to the bathroom or washing up afterward. But unless you’re a woman, chances are you aren’t aware of another pressing issue that can have serious health ramifications for many women across the world, and that is the lack of adequate sanitary feminine hygiene products for…

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A subscription service for sustainable and ethically produced underwear

Underwear is probably one of the most underrated articles of clothing, considering it’s in contact with some of the most sensitive parts of our bodies all day long. And it might also be one of the most tedious items to purchase, as every man will need to get new undies on a regular basis (unless you go commando), yet most of the choices on the market for men’s underwear don’t have a lot going for them. After all, what’s to…

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A Smart Water Meter that Powers Itself

In many parts of the developed world, water is fairly cheap, so conserving our water use may not yield a huge savings on our monthly water bill. However, our personal water bill only takes into consideration the direct cost of water to us, and not our related costs (to heat the water), nor does it capture the external or unquantified costs that increased demand on freshwater supplies can have. Therefore, reducing the amount of water used or wasted in our…

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Could a Lighting Makeover Improve Your Work?

Many of us are remarkably laid back about the lighting we use to light our work and living spaces, and we let our illumination needs get met with whatever fixtures and bulbs are already there. It’s rather silly when you think about it, as just about any space can be improved by better lighting, so why wouldn’t we be willing to take a little time, and invest a little money, improving our lighting? Better lighting doesn’t have to mean choosing…

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100% Recyclable Shoes are World’s First “Landfill-Free” Sneakers

Shoes, by their very nature of bearing all of our weight and being the buffer between our tender feet and the hard surfaces of the world, get worn out, many times much sooner than we’d like them to. And for the most part, they just end up as one more item filling up the dump (or landfill, if you prefer that kinder, gentler, term), because by the time we’re ready to let them go, they really aren’t suited to being…

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This Ethical Workout Wear Empowers Women in South Asia

Many times, the clothes we wear (and pay top dollar for) are made by people that are just barely able to get by financially. And because many of those people are women supporting themselves and their families, buying clothing from companies that choose to pay a livable wage can have a big impact in the world, while not costing the customer much more than standard sweatshop apparel would. A new project from entrepreneur Sacha Nana aims to not only produce…

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Patagonia to Offer Fair Trade Certified Clothing

Patagonia has been leading the way in responsible business practices, from encouraging their customers to buy less to increasing the transparency of their supply chain, and now they’re taking it a step further by also directly supporting fair trade in their clothing lines. Beginning in the fall of 2014, Patagonia will be offering Fair Trade Certified™ apparel, starting with nine styles, and with any luck, expanding that through customer demand. “For every Fair Trade Certified product Patagonia sells, the company…

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